updated 12/3/2008 11:24:47 AM ET 2008-12-03T16:24:47

Theological conservatives upset by the liberal views of the Episcopal Church are forming a rival denomination.

The new Anglican Church in North America will include four Episcopal dioceses that recently split from the U.S. church, along with breakaway Anglican parishes from Canada.

The announcement Wednesday in Wheaton, Illinois, comes after decades of debate over what Episcopalians should believe about issues ranging from salvation to sexuality.

Tensions erupted in 2003 when Episcopalians consecrated the first openly gay bishop.

The world Anglican Communion is a fellowship of churches with roots in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States. But the new North American church says it represents true Anglican beliefs.

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